IELTS is an abbreviation for International English Language Testing System. This exam assesses the language skills in terms of written and spoken English of a candidate.

Last year 50 lakh people gave IELTS worldwide and only 15 lakh people could get their results as desired. 

“IELTS exam is like an Olympian race. You have to get a gold medal and for the gold medal, there is no limit to the number of hours that you will practice, there is no limit to the number of kilometers that you will run and there is no limit to the number of sacrifices that you will make”

IELTS is an abbreviation for International English Language Testing System. This exam assesses the language skills in terms of written and spoken English of a candidate. Before we move on to the strategies of preparation for this exam, let us first understand the format. Knowing the pattern of any exam is the first step towards achieving an appreciable score. The exam will test the four aspects of language skills of a candidate: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. There are two versions of this exam.

IELTS Academic: measures the English language proficiency needed for an academic higher learning environment. This version is for students seeking education in foreign universities.

Listening: 30 minutes (four recorded monologues and conversation)

Reading: 60 minutes (three long passages with tasks and includes non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs, or illustrations)

Writing: 60 minutes (writing task of at least 250 words where the test takers must summarize, describe/explain a table, graph, chart/diagram)

Speaking: 11-14 minutes (face to face interview, including short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured discussion) 

IELTS General Training: measures English language proficiency in a practical context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. This version is for people seeking out to migrate to a foreign country.

Listening: 30 minutes (assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main idea and detailed factual information, the opinion and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance, and evidence of one’s ability to follow the development of ideas)

Reading: 60 minutes (sort of texts that a person would need to be able to understand when living in an English- speaking country)

Writing: 60 minutes (coherence and cohesion assesses how clear and fluent your writing is and how you organize ideas and information)

Speaking: 11-14 minutes (follows a specific pattern of tasks in order to test your speaking ability in different ways)

Time management and skill development are the two areas where a candidate has to put special focus while preparing for the IELTS exam. It is not an exam of luck, rather it is a very strategic exam that requires equally strategic preparation.

Become familiar with exam patterns, understand how much it costs to take the exam, how to book a test center, and use the right IELTS preparation material so you’re ready for the big day.

Passing any examination comfortably requires at least 80% of preparation and the remaining 20% should come from putting the same into action.

Preparation strategies

  • There can be no other way to score well in the reading section without reading a lot.
  • Abandon the habit of translating English texts in your own language, as this habit slows down English learning.
  • Don’t hesitate to turn to a dictionary, when you come across a difficult word.
  • An important aspect of comprehension is understanding the context of a text.
  • Start skimming through practice test papers and answers.
  • You can take up these practice tests by factoring in the time you will be given for taking up the actual test.
  • Join a best Best IELTS Coaching Center near you

Higher band challenges

Targeting 90% in every exam requires dedicated preparation. One needs to devote 2-3 hours of meticulous practice with a mentor to achieve their target. The following are the challenges when targeting band 8-9: 

  • Practices need daily feedback.
  • Preparing without a proper plan will just be a waste of time.
  • At least 15 essays should be evaluated on a regular basis.
  • One mock session of a speaking test is a must.
  • Choose the right IELTS test.

Familiarize yourself with the test.

Learn about the question types and get familiar with the question types that you might encounter and the time assigned to completing the listening, writing, reading, and speaking tests.

Understand band scores. IELTS results are reported on a scale of band 0 to a band 9. The band score corresponds to the level of competence in the English language.

  • Study and set goals. Setting simple study goals can help you get ahead with the preparation of IELTS.
  • Read English newspapers, books, journals.
  • Learn a new word every day and practice using it in a sentence.
  • Know what to expect on test day.
  • Take some help. It is always suggested you take some form of help with professionals who have been preparing for the exam in previous years.
  • Work on your language. You need to have good enough language skills and by this, it is not meant only vocabulary rather a combination of good vocabulary and flawless grammar. Be sure that you are good with punctuation as it matters in the writing section.
  • Be quick in dealing with the question paper.
  • Spare no question.
  • Don’t freak out.
  • Lastly, a rather very important tip for you is to keep calm. Don’t stress yourself too much because this tension can make you panic and you may lose a good score even of the fact of working so hard. Especially, for the speaking section, one needs to sound confident about oneself, showing nervousness or panicking can be really dangerous at that point of time. Have faith in yourself and your preparation, hope for the best, and give your best without worrying too much about the results.

IELTS may seem like one tough cookie but it isn’t that tough and once you prepare well for it. You don’t need to sweat blood for it either. With a properly scheduled study, there is nothing that can stop your selection. I wish you the best in your IELTS preparation.